Lativan trade unions promise protests

  • 2008-08-28
  • In cooperation with BNS
RIGA - The Free Trade Union of Latvia (LBAS) has demanded that the government compensate workers for the country's high inflation rate and threatened large scale protests if their demands are not met.

LBAS submitted a document to the government on Thursday that invited officials to talks on the issue.

"If we are not heard, talks will continue in the parliament with a real support from people on the streets to make them understand that these are not just whims of a union leader," LBAS Chairman Peteris Krigeris told the Baltic News Service.

The organization said that following an economic hard landing similar to the one Latviais experiencing, it is the government's duty to compensate residents for losses incurred from high inflation.

The LBAS head said that the government has so far failed to take any concrete actions to tackle the problem.

The trade unions' long term demands include a gradual reduction of personal income tax to 15 percent, setting a 5 percent VAT rate on basic goods and raising the VAT on luxury goods and services.

Last fall, Latvian trade unions actively protested against the government's failure to hear their demands and proposals for the new government budget, and collected signatures to hold a referendum on voters' rights to dissolve parliament.